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White Literature Review: Twitter¶s effect on Agenda Setting Intro: In today¶s society many people have begun to get the majority of their news faster due to the impact of social media for examples like Twitter and how it has begun to speed up the affect the public agenda of news. McCombs and Shaw researchers believe that ³mass media have the ability to transfer the salience of items on their news agendas to the public agenda (Griffin, 2009). Today people have many ways to get their news whether it is from a car radio, being on the internet at school or the workplace, or just sitting at home watching the various amounts of different news channels that we have to our disposal today. Many of the stories reported have to do with Politics, Crimes, General News, or the local and national sports teams. These news stories are a way that news media effects the public agenda from day to day. Each story that is released is a certain topic that people will speak about or have to worry about depending on the relativeness they have with the story. News Editors release the way that they want the news agenda to be perceived due to the public¶s very own agenda of what is important. Media personal has a very strong influence in the way that they portray a story to really try and tell the public what is important. Many politicians through-put history have had only the good things about themselves put out into the public agenda. You rarely see a person with high power or a celebrity taking part in a story that is going to speak badly about them or give it out information that hurts their image to the public. ³We judge as important what the media judge as important´ (Griffin, 2009). The media has the power and the influence to portray to the public the stories and topics that they feel is the most important but may not be the most important to the public agenda.
Twitter, a social networking website has come on the rise with dramatic fashion since 2006, and as of 2011, had almost 380 million users sending out tweets every day (Sagolla). Twitter has begun to change the way that people are obtaining news through out the world. Social media in a whole is becoming so large that it really cannot be avoided any more due to how many people are becoming involved in them. Twitter is used for people to speak about what they are doing, who they are with, where they are going, or what is going on around them. People are free to speak about whatever they want whether it is sports, politics, or just general news. Twitter has allowed people to obtain news much faster than news stations or websites can keep up with. Certain measures like these are beginning to make the news stations realize that with the advances in social media and how easy it is to obtain from a cell phone if their stations will be able to keep up at that pace. ³The news media industry is facing down questions about its ability to turn a profit and maintain significant audience share´ (Kushin, 2011). In a study by Matthew Kushin he tested the relationship between intermedia and the online publication of the New York Times and Twitter. In this study he found ³that social media, specifically Twitter, has a direct influence on the news media agenda´ (Kushin, 2011). On Twitter there is a section called Trending Topics. This allows people to see what people are talking about on twitter at that exact moment, and trending topics can vary from a large range of topics through-out the world, your specific country, or the city that you live in. So for an example if an Earthquake hit the city you live in, people are most likely going to tweet about it and what happened. Well that word Earthquake is going to become a trending topic because of the relevance it has in other tweets and the rapid pace that people are speaking about it. While on the Trending Topics folder in Twitter you can click that topic and it searches it amongst other tweets. So many tweets of people around you or across the country comes up so you can see what others are saying. This
allows people to get the news headline before any radio station or TV news station has the time to report it. Twitter is so easy to access as well considering if you have a computer you can have an account, but the reason it is growing so rapidly is because of a Twitter App for a smartphone. All that information is given to you right there in your hand from your cell phone. Twitter is changing the way that people are obtaining news, and through my research I was able to find out ways that sports athletes, celebs, or politicians are using twitter for more than just finding out the news faster. There has not been enough research to figure out what exactly Twitter is being used for whether its personal exposure, obtaining news, or seeing what the general public¶s agenda is or what they are talking about. Literature Review: News media has been put out into the public through social media much faster than most news stations or radio stations. Social Media is a large reason that people knew about the killing of Osama Bin Laden before President Barack Obama even approached the country with that national news on May 1st, 2011 (Economist, 2011). The rumors were beginning to spread over Twitter which is a social networking website. ³Social-Media technologies allow a far wider range of people to take part in gathering, filtering and distributing news´ (Economist, 2011). People began to tweet about the rumors of Osama bin Laden due to the people that they were following on twitter such as a government official or a political figure. As one tweet sparked up controversy then others began to realize the sincerity of the topic. Soon the rumors were all over Twitter, even an hour before the President would address the country about the raid in Pakistan many people knew. Twitter allowed the news to be released much faster than any news station like CNN or NBC were able to go on the air and speak about the raid. ³Thanks to the rise of social media, news is no longer gathered exclusively by reporters and turned into a story but
emerges from an ecosystem in which journalists, sources, readers and viewers exchange information´ (Economist, 2011). Social Media is changing the way news media differs in the way that they portray the news to the public¶s agenda. Twitter is being used by many different politicians and congressmen to let information about their campaigns, fundraisers, and personal business out into the world. ³Twitter is a micro blogging and social networking service with millions of members and growing at a tremendous rate´ (Golbeck, Grimes, & Rogers, 2010). These researchers read and analyzed over 6000 tweets from members of congress to see what their exact goals were of having a twitter account. Their research shows that the congressmen who did have accounts were mainly using twitter to disperse information, sending links to news articles about themselves, reporting their own daily activities and to have people check out their personal blog (Golbeck, Grimes, & Rogers, 2010). Many of the tweets were used for self-promotion for themselves (Golbeck, Grimes, & Rogers, 2010). Twitter is not used as a direct tool to connect congressmen to citizens, however, it is used to attract attention to one¶s self. Twitter is changing ways that people perceive their news about a politician or congressmen that they follow or had voted for. Instead of having to go to their own personal website or hear about what they are doing from news or radio station Twitter allows them to keep up with the politician just by checking their tweets on their twitter account. Through case studies information was found about micro-blogging and how the use of Twitter is affecting the ³awareness systems´ or the way that people are receiving their news (Hermida, 2010). ³Twitter is one of a range of new social media technologies that allow for the online and instant dissemination of short fragments of data from a variety of official and unofficial sources´ (Hermida, 2010). Micro Blogging is something that is very similar to Twitter allowing people to communicate or share information in only 200 characters or less (Hermida,
2010). Twitter allows people only 140 characters to speak what they want to which as about the same length as a text message. Twitter is used 2 to 3 more times a day to find out news than people visiting a single news website (Hermida, 2010). Twitter has begun to become adopted by many news stations due to the fact of the rapid growth of the social networking site. Many news media now has their own personal Twitter account so they can still be the ones that receives and reports the news first instead of people hearing about rumors which they found in a trending topic on twitter. ³Twitter are enabling citizens to maintain a mental model of news and events around them. In this context, Twitter can be considered as an awareness system´ (Hermida, 2010). Twitter is becoming a way that people find out their news considering it is so easy to see what is being said on twitter than it is to go to a news website or turn on a television. The main goal of Twitter is allowing people to perceive a message out into the public where anyone with access to a computer or smart phone can view anyone¶s tweets. No matter the way that people speak through Twitter whether it is through slang words or misspelled words people are trying to get their opinion or point across. ³Social Media gives us an opportunity we didn¶t have until now to track what everybody is saying about everything, says Filippo Menczer´ (Savage, 2011). The way people receive their news may have varied from hearing rumors on Twitter instead of having a news station confirm the story by telling you over television or from a radio station even. Twitter is still giving people access to receive information away from the conventional ways of gaining news from a TV or radio station. Social Media like Twitter is only growing more influential by the day and is making the spread of information easier as it grows.
Conclusion: Agenda Setting is something that is perceived by people day after day from news media without people even thinking about it. The news media has a strong influence in the public¶s agenda because they have the power of choosing what stories or information to be let out into the public. However, with social media growing at a tremendous rate with applications such as Twitter news is beginning to travel much faster before the news media is able to affect the way news is portrayed to the public. Social media with companies like Twitter or Facebook are growing at a tremendous rate and many people in the news media are beginning to worry about ways to keep up with social media having already affecting so many people¶s day to day lives. News stations or radio stations have always had the power of sharing to the public the information that they wanted to portray, but now with Twitter the public has the power to decide what news is being spoken upon through out the Twitter world. The power of the news media always choosing what to report or speak about is changing with social media like Twitter where the public has their own voice.
Griffin, E. (2009). A first look at communication theory (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGrawHill. Golbeck, J., Grimes, J. M., & Rogers, A. (2010). Twitter use by the U.S. Congress. Journal Of The American Society For Information Science & Technology, 61(8), 1612-1621. doi:10.1002/asi.21344. Hermida, A. (2010). TWITTERING THE NEWS. Journalism Practice, 4(3), 297-308. doi:10.1080/17512781003640703. Kushin, M. (2011). Tweeting the issues in the age of social media? Intermedia agenda setting between the 'New York times' and twitter. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A, 71, Sagolla, D. (2009) How Twitter was born. 140characters.com <http://www.140characters.com/2009/01/30/how-twitter-was-born/>. Savage, N. (2011). Twitter as Medium and Message. Communications Of The ACM, 54(3), 1820. doi:10.1145/1897852.1897860. The people formerly known as the audience. (2011). Economist, 399(8741), 9-12.
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